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2 August 2005, 09:46 am
Caixa Galicia Stands Out Above the Rest At Copa Del Rey
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Breitling MEDCUP 2005
Palma de Mallorca, Spain

The wind was the reluctant star of the opening day of the Copa del Rey- Agua Brava Trophy, and the fourth event in the Breitling MEDCUP. The world's most modern and dynamic fleet were forced to wait until 15:15 (CET) for the Race Committee to give the start signal.
The day's racing began with one windward-leeward regatta on the programme, and a course of roughly 12.7 miles to be covered. With a south-westerly breeze of ten knots, the race commenced, with Italians Orlanda-Olympus - with the America's Cup Luna Rossa strategist, Francesco BRUNI at the helm, leading at the first mark, followed by Siemens, with tactician Gary WEISMAN, who were in second place. In third place at this point, was Caixa Galicia, who had Dee SMITH back onboard, after his absence in the last event. Behind them were the Movistar- Pisco Sour crew, with the VASCOTTO-CAMPOS duo at the helm, then came Bribon owned by José CUSI, followed by sailing star, Russell COUTTS on Lexus.

It was in the third leg that Spanish Caixa Galicia, well known for their impeccable manoeuvres, gave the rest a lesson and positioned themselves at the front of the fleet. Close behind was Siemens, and a much-improved Cristabella with John COOK. In the fourth leg Caixa Galicia maintained their lead, with duo VASCOTTO-CAMPOS going for second, followed by Siemens, who were in third place.

The battle in the Corinthian category was also tough, with Bribon, skippered by HM Juan Carlos of Spain and Carl BUCHAN, in front of Cristabella, who were in fifth place, and Bambakou, who were in eighth. Two of the favourites, Atalanti XV (Paul CAYARD and Dean BARKER) and Lexus (Russell COUTTS) were in sixth and seventh place at this point.

In the last glorious upwind leg, owner Vicente TIRADO's Caixa Galicia sealed their victory, demonstrating their hunger for the titles in the Copa del Rey. VASCOTTO and CAMPOS followed on Movistar, with an improved Siemens behind, who had definitely reaped the benefit of their knowledge of the Bay's conditions.

Amongst this tight group of TP52 -in this case, the Corinthian Class, maintained a tough battle, which eventually went to Cristabella, who were followed by the Americans Bambakou, with Santiago LANGE, 2004 Olympic bronze medallist and America's Cup yachtsman, at the helm. In seventh place was Lexus, owned by Jaime YLLERA from Spain, with Russell COUTTS at the wheel, who finished just a few bowlines ahead of his America's Cup protégée, Dean BARKER, with Atalanti XV.

Dean BARKER, Helmsman Atalanti XV, on his return to the Breitling MedCup:
'I'm very happy to be sailing again in the TP52 Class. My agreement with Lexus was only for the Breitling Regatta, and now I've got the opportunity to sail with Paul CAYARD, onboard Atlanti XV. I'm really looking forward to sailing again on a TP52, the competition's great'

Paul CAYARD, skipper and tactician on Atalanti XV, on his new onboard role: 'We really want to get the boat optimised, not only for this event, but for next season. We've contracted Dean with the because he's an excellent helmsman, and we can be sure that on that side of things the boat will be performing 100%. If I'm steering, it's difficult for me to focus on anything but my own boat. It's good for me to see what's happening around me, how the other boats are going, so in this regatta I'm onboard as tactician, with Dean at the helm.'

Pedro CAMPOS, co-skipper movistar on his first day of the Breitling MEDCUP: 'It's been an amazing experience. Vasco takes the wheel upwind, and I take it downwind, and I've really enjoyed it. The boats are very fast and fun. We're really happy with our result.'

Pedro PERELLÓ, Skipper, Siemens, on his good performance in the race: 'We're getting to know the boat better, and our tactician, Gary WEISMAN, is the type of guy who would do the job well in any waters, so my local knowledge hasn't played such a big part, even though Gary listens well, but makes his own decisions. Also our helmsman, Jim ALLSOP is doing really well - we've got a great team. We will celebrete this as a victory.'

Dee SMITH, tactician, Caixa Galicia, on his tactics: 'It's been a good race, and we went where we wanted to go. In the first stretch, we izado el asimétrico A5 when nobody else did, which helped us gain more speed. In the second upwind leg we stayed to the left, which was the right decision, as it gave us the lead. Then we just had to maintain that lead.'

Ranking after race 1 at 24 Copa del Rey
1. Caixa Galicia. 11 points
2. Movistar.10
3. Siemens.9
4. Cristabella.8
5. Bribón.7
6. Bambakou.6
7. Lexus.5
8. Atalanti XV. 4
9. Orlanda-Olympus.3
10. Aifos. 2
11. Balearia. 1

Event Media (As Amended by ISAF), Image © Event Media
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